Chris O'Dell Photographs

East Berlin 1964

Neue Kirche Berlin 1964
NeueKirche Berlin

In 1964 I took a trip to Berlin to see a school friend who was completing his German degree course as an assitant in a West Berlin school.  This picture was taken aduring the time of the World Youth Rally in East Berlin in 1964.  The Berlin Wall was closed to West Germans but foreign visitors could get a temporary visa and cross into the Eastern sector through Checkpoint Charlie.   We crossed the border into the eastern sector a number of times, but eventually we were arrested by Vopos, (the Volkspolizei  -  People's Police) and the roll of film in my camera was confiscated.  Fortunately it was a new roll with few shots on it.  We decided that it might be better not to return across the wall.  I took a lot of shots around the centre of Easst Berlin, this scene is almost unrecognisable now, the building has been restored and the space in front is a busy public space.  Although this was taken nineteen years after the end of the war the East German government had not made any attempt to reconstruct the historic buildings in the city centre.

Camera:  Voigtlander Vito B,  lens Colour-Skopar 50mm,  film stock Kodachrome 135.

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